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 NW Real Estate Feature
How to sell your home quickly

A growing number of investors and buyers have become more sophisticated and demand a higher level of quality from potential house purchases. This is especially true in a declining market, where a greater number of houses become available, ultimately taking longer to sell and thus creating a buyers market.

The aim of this guide is to help you sell your home quickly irrespective of a growing or declining market. The key to selling quickly is to get into the mindset of the buyer and ensure that your house will live up to their expectations. At every stage of the viewing, you will be attempting to appeal to their sense of sight, smell, sound, touch and overall feeling of homeliness.

Selling a house has become an art form and this guide will help you understand some of the simple concepts you can apply to greatly increase your chances of selling your home faster. Each concept will help you achieve the right 'feel' for the buyer. You will need to spend time and money in raising the level of upkeep within your home to obtain the best price and achieve a quick sale.

Research your area

You need to assess how well your house looks in comparison to the neighbors and the best kept houses in your street including neighboring areas. Make a list of salient points where your house fails to meet the standards set by the more desirable neighboring houses. This will prove to be a prominent starting point in improving your 'curb' appeal.

Curb appeal

The front of the house will always make a strong statement about how the remainder of the house has been maintained. So it's vital to get this right.


Sweep up the cerb in front of your house on a regular basis so that it's always kept free of any litter, especially before a viewing.

Wall or fence

Remove moss or weeds that grow on or around a wall or fence. If necessary, repaint, stain or revarnish to give a new clean look. Also repair any problem areas so they are in good condition. Ensure that any gates open and close securely, oil hinges and latches well to avoid any annoying squeaking noises.

Path or drive Remove litter from the path or drive. Keep the area well swept especially during the autumn months due to falling leaves. Remove any weeds or moss that may have grown and ideally use a power washer to create a clean and brighter path or drive.


If you have a lawn, then ensure that it's mowed regularly especially during the spring and summer months. Remove weeds and litter from the lawn and borders. Tidy up overgrown trees, bushes and hedges by trimming them down. This may help to allow more light in through the windows.

Gravelled or pebbled areas

Remove litter and weeds growing through and ensure an even surface by raking. In general, repair or replace anything that is broken and repaint, stain or revarnish any areas that look worn or tired. Remove any rubbish that will distract the buyer and keep the gardens well maintained. If you have a 'For Sale' board then ensure that it's clean, tidy and visible from the road.

Front of the house

This will be the first area a potential buyer will study and will form an immediate judgement regarding the condition of the rest of the house. So it's very important to get this right. The front of the house needs to be appealing, well appointed and welcoming otherwise you will loose a potential sale before ever meeting the potential buyer.


Ensure there are no loose or missing tiles and make sure that the lead flashing is tidy and free from damage.


Clean debris from all the guttering and repair any damaged sections. Repaint metal guttering if necessary.


Re-point areas of damaged mortar otherwise the buyer may suspect damp problems to the internal walls.

Painting is a great way to help conceal repaired areas and give a clean look to the outside surface. Avoid bright colors. Use a light cream or magnolia to the main areas and white to any features such as areas above and below windows.

Front doors and windows

Clean all windows and windowsills. Repair any broken glass or frames. Make sure the front door works properly with an emphasis on security and ensure that it's clean. Paint, stain or varnish if necessary. Clean all the door furniture i.e. handles, knockers, letterboxes and house numbers. Oil all hinges if necessary. Again, keep all areas clean and free of litter.


Keep all areas around the garage door clean and free from debris, make sure that they open and close properly. Repaint, stain or revarnish paintwork that may be flaky or peeling.

Inside the house

Now you have completed the first stage of creating the 'right' impression by improving the front of your house, it is imperative you now replicate this process throughout the rest of the viewing. There are some general concepts that you need to bear in mind that relate to the whole of the house inside or out.


Throughout the months or years in a home, the collection of personal items grow at an alarming rate. Remember that when you're selling your home, you're attempting to show the buyer that it's a place they can call home. The only way to do this is by making rooms clutter free. Remove any items of furniture that you do not want. Remove or store away all items that will distract the buyer. Less is creatively more. Allow the buyer to imagine that the space will become home to their ornaments and furniture. You can store your clutter in temporary storage facilities. This will cost money but can greatly improve the chances of selling your home quickly.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

No one wants to view a house that is untidy and dirty. Clean and polish all surfaces that collect dust. Remove and store away any personal items that detract from the presentation. Avoid the tired lived in look where possible. Keep all carpets well vacuumed and floors polished (tiles, laminate or wooden flooring) tidy and swept clean. Replace any worn carpets.

Color schemes

Your existing color schemes are a reflection of your taste and could put off potential buyers who may have their own ideas. The best way to tackle this is to neutralize the overall color scheme throughout the house creating a blank canvass. This will make it easier for the buyer to imagine their own color schemes and give an added advantage of a spacious feeling. Cream, white, magnolia and beiges are a great way to neutralize a color scheme. If paintwork needs to be freshened up then redecorate where necessary.


Well placed potted plants and flowers can make every room warm, bright and welcoming. They cost very little and brighten any dark corner of a house.


Ensure that all lights work and replace any bulbs that are blown. It may be advantageous to keep all the lights on when showing a potential buyer around helping to give a light and spacious feel. Use the highest wattage bulbs for maximum effect.


The use of fresh flowers or scents throughout the house will enhance the viewing experience for the buyer. The smell of freshly brewed coffee or baked bread gives a warm homely feeling. Whatever your taste in fragrances you must remove any lingering odors of food, pets and smoking. This is especially important in the kitchen and bathroom where all work surfaces and tiles should be disinfected.

Window dressing

Ensure that all curtains and blinds are dust free, clean and work properly. Replace them if necessary as they frame a window and will influence the 'look' of a room

Entrance Hall

This important reception area of the house needs to feel welcoming. Keep it as spacious as possible and remove any letters or newspapers that may have come through the letterbox. Place a new welcome mat by the door to stop the dirt being walked through the house. Put all loose footwear in racks or away from sight. Place coats and scarves on hooks and not draped over the stairs or banister. A well-placed mirror will also make a small hallway feel spacious and will add interest to any hallway.

Living room

Remove all large or striking items, photos and ornaments that may reflect your own personality or lifestyle as this will detract from the viewing. Arrange furniture to give the most open and spacious feeling removing any obstructions that could get in the way of the viewing.

Dining room

Use a clean or new dining table cloth or table runner. Ensure that seat covers are clean and tidy. Create a centre piece on the dining table with a plant or flowers, thus creating an interesting focal point to the room.


This is one of the major rooms in the house that determine a successful sale of a home. It is important to get this room right, replace or repair broken worktops, replacing the doors on wall and base units with a modern style. If any appliances are kept on the worktop then make sure they are clean, keeping all tiled areas spotless ensuring all grouting is dirt free. Keep the sink clean, disinfected and tidy and free from dirty dishes.


Keep all personal toiletries and cleaning materials stored out of view. Ensure all the surfaces are sanitized especially the taps, toilet, sink and bath. Replace the shower curtain if necessary and adorn the room with fresh towels, small potted plants or flowers, candles and glass bottles.


Characterizing a bedroom is important. The bedroom is used for relaxing, unwinding, sleeping or even romancing and the look and feel should reflect this. To portray the idea that it's also used for watching TV or for working would give the impression that there is not enough room provided throughout the rest of the house. Store or lock away all items like TVs, entertainment systems, computers, work desks, fax machines etc. Keep the room tidy and free from clutter, this is very important in the bedroom as more space that is created the greater the feeling of spaciousness. Never leave clothing lying on the bed or hanging over the back of a chair as this also gives the impression of untidiness and a lack of storage space. Remove storage boxes or suitcases from view keeping everything stored away in cupboards, loft or shed. If the bedding looks worn then replace with new. Introduce fresh flowers or candles as they will add to the calming effect in the bedroom.

Spare rooms

Every room must have a function. If you have a spare room then define it's purpose. A spare room upstairs needs to be identified as a spare bedroom for guests, nursery or playroom, a study or office. A spare room downstairs can be interpreted as a utility room, washroom, study or office. Add furniture if necessary to help define the use of the room.

Back Gardens

Apply the same points as dealt with in the lawned, gravelled and pebbles areas. Add outdoor lighting that comes in useful during evening or winter months viewing. If you don't already have one, a shed is useful for storing household or garden items. Outdoor furniture increases the usability of the garden and is essential if space allows. All outdoor furniture should be kept clean, tidy and in good working order.


Ensure that all the windows and doors are clean both inside and out, making sure that the blinds are working and dust free. All furniture should be arranged to allow for maximum floor space using potted plants and fresh flowers to help bring a sense of colour to the conservatory.

Certificates & Receipts

If you have recently had major work done to the house then its imperative to keep certificates or receipts handy to show prospective buyers. This could include structural repairs, double-glazing, central heating, roof repairs etc. Many buyers who wish to purchase your property for renting purposes often ask for NICEIC certificates for electrical installations and CORGI certificates for gas installations.


This guide has been compiled to give you a glimpse into areas that need particular attention when selling your house. You will need to spend time and money throughout each area in preparation of selling your house quickly. It will give you an added advantage over similar houses for sale in your area by creating a 'WOW factor'.

 About the Author
Nilesh Gohil - property developer and founder of Aimed at people buying, selling and renting in the UK. Offering free property ebooks to subscribers to his newsletter
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